Home Hot Takes From the Zoo IN FOCUS: Stirling Highway

IN FOCUS: Stirling Highway

Picture Jon Bassett

Being a coastal city, it was perhaps unforeseeable that a highway linking central Perth to the beach would ever be popular. Accordingly, no Government since 1930 ever really gave a toss about improving Stirling Highway, and oh boy, what a colossal heap of crap we’re stuck with now.

Down the Fremantle end, drivers get the awesome experience of being the unwilling sexaids in the daily freight truck gang-bang. A perilous entrance to the beast that is so frustrating, drivers tend to risk their lives and cut in front of trucks to try and escape the diesel-powered farkfest and make some ground.

You may be tempted to relax once you are on the main stretch. Resist this urge. Complacency will make you weak and you’ll need that pent up aggression if you want to make it through this arterial horror show.

Conventional driving wisdom tells us to stay left and use the right lane to overtake. Good in theory, but the left lane on Stirling is home to the great bus armada of Perth – a fleet of Transperth’s finest stopping every 100m without the luxury of a bus bay. So just overtake, right? Nope, the chances of someone letting you in are slimmer than Anthony Mundine being awarded a PhD.

So, you think you’ll chill in the right lane like some kind of garden variety shitcarnt then? Well, this strategy will yield few rewards too. Given the lack of any slip lanes you will be stuck behind every right turner on the road. Especially hazardous given the sheer pulling power of the Red Rooster in Mossie Park and HJs in Claremont.

By default, this road turns you into a lane zipping maniac. You will desperately try to predict which horrible fate awaits each lane and then cut off anyone who stands in your way. Be prepared to face formidable foes such as distracted western suburbs cougars and old money boomers who should’ve had their licence taken off them years ago. Remember, it’s every driver for themselves. This isn’t what we wanted to be, but it’s what this highway has made us.

If you haven’t been rear-ended by a Mercedes or sideswiped by a Porsche Cayenne, then you have probably made it to the other end which becomes Mounts Bay Road. You will know you’re there once you see a couple taking their wedding photos at the Crawley Boat Shed.

Your instinct at this point will be to accelerate. HARD. Feel some god damn freedom after being stuck in congested purgatory for 50minutes. Well, try it, punk, I dare you because there is nothing Mounts Bay Road loves more than a cheeky speed camera around its many bends.

Welcome to Perth City.